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Frustrated! Need inspiration!


ksvenson8907
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I am new. I think I have found 7 caches. I was really excited when I found the first couple pretty easily. Today I tried to find 3 different caches and I couldn't find them. I read the descriptions and hints a million times, I looked through all the activity log entries and I STILL couldn't find them. I feel like my app on my iphone is not working properly, but it is probably just me. I am starting to think that maybe geocaching isn't for me--I bought the app though. Is there something else I should be doing? I only use my app on my iPhone. I will get on the computer to look at cache near somewhere I am going. Does anyone have any suggestions? Please help!!!

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The first 100 are the hardest. Once you see how geocachers are able to hide stuff in plain sight or cleverly camoed, it gets easier. Personally I think using a smartphone rather than a dedicated GPSr adds difficulty. I have pretty decent phone and my find rate is MUCH lower with it than with are real GPSr.

 

Go to the nearest event and visit with others. Usually there are small groups that head out to find the nearest ones. That could be educational for you. I bet there will be a few times where you say "I didn't know you could do that!" or "Wait, that tiny little thing is a geocache?!?"

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A common recommendation for beginners is to stick with small small.gif size, regular regular.gif size, and large large.gif size caches. Until you're more experienced, avoid micro micro.gif size caches, some of which are smaller than most beginners can imagine (sometimes called "nanos"). Save those for later, after you have some experience.

 

Also, stick with caches that have a difficulty rating of no more than 2 stars stars2.gif. Save the more difficult ones for later. You may also want to choose caches with easy terrain ratings. (The difficulty rating tells you how hard it is to find the cache once you get there. The terrain rating tells you how hard it is to get there.) And it is often best to start with traditional 2.gif caches, which will be at the published coordinates. Multi-caches 3.gif or mystery/puzzle caches 8.gif or other cache types can require more work just to figure out where the container is located.

 

Under ideal conditions, a consumer GPSr will be accurate to about 3m (10ft). That applies both to your device, and to the cache owner’s device, so you may find the container 5-6m (16-20ft) from ground zero under ideal conditions. Under less than ideal conditions, both GPSr readings can be much less accurate. Once you get within that distance of ground zero, put your device away and look around for places where a container could be hidden.

 

Where would you hide something? Do you notice anything unusual? Is anything too new, too old, too organized (e.g., UPS: an Unnatural Pile of Sticks/Stones), too symmetrical, not quite the right color or shape, etc.? Don’t look only on the ground; the cache may be knee-level, waist-level, eye-level, or overhead. How might the container be secured in place? With magnets? With a hook? With string? With fishing line? With something else? Does anything move when you touch it? (Be careful when touching things though.)

 

Go ahead and read the cache's additional hints (if provided), and read the past logs and look at any photos in the cache's image gallery. They may help you understand what you're looking for, and how/where it may be hidden. It may also help to look at some of the cache containers available online. For example, check out the cache containers sold by Groundspeak. Also, take a look at the Pictures - Cool Cache Containers (CCC's) thread in the forums.

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The whole 'trick' to becoming a great cacher has nothing to do with the type of GPS you use or the ratings on the caches you choose to search for. All GPSr's are basically the same in my opinion and whether you spend $89 or $800, it doesn't matter. The accuracy is the same. As for ratings and sizes? All subjective. DON'T choose the 1/1 or the 1.5/1.5. Sticking to those only increases your numbers, not your skills.

 

Becoming a great Geocacher only lies within one place and that is you. If you can't find a cache, stick with the search until you do find it. Choose to find 1 great hide instead of 10 or 20 or 100 easy hides. It's not about the numbers. It's about the experience, training yourself, your eyes, learning from each difficult hide and taking what you learned from that hide with you onto the next challenge.

 

The only way to become a great Geocacher is to ALWAYS challenge yourself!

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Don't feel bad. As you cache more you'll have good days and bad days. Some caches you'll walk right up to and it'll appear like magic to those with you, and some you'll spend hours or days, weeks, and months (depends on how tenacious you are)looking for.

 

Yesterday my husband and I went out for the afternoon picking off some caches in the next city. There's one out by the airport that are these stair going into a sky, kind of bad art pretending to be something. So we're looking, and looking, and looking. A car stops by our car and a guy is standing there watching us. It turns out he's a fellow cacher. Anyways, as we do the walk of shame back to our car, he calls out a hint which renews the search. He hopped in his car, probably sure we're going to find the bloody thing, and zoomed off.

 

After another 30 minutes and a few nettle stings later, we hang our heads and slowly trudge back to the car with shaking knees from running up and down the stairs.

 

I know we'll find it. It may take another visit or 2 (my record so far is 37) to find it and we'll probably take some fellow cachers with us as reinforcements. But it does get easier every cache you find. ;-)

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hey, KSvenson8907 - you're doing better than we are. We set out to find a 1.5/2 today and failed miserably. Walked away from that one thinking it was our GPS app on the phone. Came home and plotted two more 1.5s -- failed at both of those two. I just don't understand what we're doing wrong. These were our very first attempts and it feels like such an enormous let-down to not find them.

 

Then I learned that 69 people had previously found one of the ones we were looking for (talk about rubbing salt in a wound) -- all of whom loved it -- and all of whom said it was fairly easy. WHAT GIVES!?

 

I don't know where you are, KSven, but I hope you get over your slump and find some noob-friendly caches soon. I also hope I find some, because I feel like a doofus failing at three different 1.5 difficulty level caches.

 

le sigh. I'm right there with you.

 

Keep me updated - I feel like your success with help me find the motivation to keep hunting.

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Oh boy........I could have posted this myself. I am having the same feelings. However, I am DETERMINED to get the hang of this. I have one that we have visited twice and cannot find for the life of us. I will continue to go look for it. I am also using my phone app and it has been working well, but my confidence in it was waning so I bought a GPS and we will continue the hunt! Good luck, to us both!

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We've now got a bit over 500. The first hundred I'd guess we were hitting maybe 1 on 5 where we had to post a 'did not find'. A couple of years on and that's maybe one in 10 or 15. You'll get better at it but you WILL STILL FAIL TO FIND sometimes. Whatever. One of my favourite hunts was a DNF and that's part of the fun.

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hey, KSvenson8907 - you're doing better than we are. We set out to find a 1.5/2 today and failed miserably. Walked away from that one thinking it was our GPS app on the phone. Came home and plotted two more 1.5s -- failed at both of those two. I just don't understand what we're doing wrong. These were our very first attempts and it feels like such an enormous let-down to not find them.

 

Then I learned that 69 people had previously found one of the ones we were looking for (talk about rubbing salt in a wound) -- all of whom loved it -- and all of whom said it was fairly easy. WHAT GIVES!?

 

I don't know where you are, KSven, but I hope you get over your slump and find some noob-friendly caches soon. I also hope I find some, because I feel like a doofus failing at three different 1.5 difficulty level caches.

 

le sigh. I'm right there with you.

 

Keep me updated - I feel like your success with help me find the motivation to keep hunting.

 

I know exactly how you feel!! The one that I was trying hard to find every person in the activity feed said easy cache. The only reason I have found so many is because I watch two little kids find one before I started. So most of the park and grabs I have found are in the same place as where these kids found theirs. I have only found 3 that werent in this common place. I have been in areas with no cell phone service all day so I havent done any caching today. I am in Iowa right on the Mississippi River. I will keep you updated. Thank you so much for your support.

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hey, KSvenson8907 - you're doing better than we are. We set out to find a 1.5/2 today and failed miserably. Walked away from that one thinking it was our GPS app on the phone. Came home and plotted two more 1.5s -- failed at both of those two. I just don't understand what we're doing wrong. These were our very first attempts and it feels like such an enormous let-down to not find them.

 

Then I learned that 69 people had previously found one of the ones we were looking for (talk about rubbing salt in a wound) -- all of whom loved it -- and all of whom said it was fairly easy. WHAT GIVES!?

 

I don't know where you are, KSven, but I hope you get over your slump and find some noob-friendly caches soon. I also hope I find some, because I feel like a doofus failing at three different 1.5 difficulty level caches.

 

le sigh. I'm right there with you.

 

Keep me updated - I feel like your success with help me find the motivation to keep hunting.

 

Don't get discouraged! I'm sure the only reason you haven't found any yet is that you haven't found any yet, if you get my meaning...in other words, you haven't seen any so you don't know yet exactly what you're looking for or what it should look like. No doubt once you find your first few you'll have an "Aha!" moment when you start to realize what you're looking for. When I was first starting out my first fake electrical plate completely threw me...but when I finally found one I realized that I suddenly knew where a couple of others were that I had missed earlier! It's like that, there's a definite learning curve involved.

 

Then, after you've got 50 or so finds under your belt and you think you've seen just about every way a cache can be hidden, all of a sudden you'll come across one hidden in a completely new way. That's one of the things that keeps this game interesting....just like Forrest's box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get!

 

Don't look with just your eyes....feel with your hands in places you can't see. Touch things to see if they move....is that a real bolt or a false magnetic one stuck to that beam? Does that fencepost cap lift off? Is that blank electrical cover on the breaker box really a cover, or a magnetic fake? The possibilities are endless, and with caches that are well camouflaged, your eyes will deceive you. Don't assume everything you see is what it appears to be.

 

Have any of your DNF's been in a parking lot near a lamp post, by any chance? :D

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